Stormy skies make for dramatic photos

Stormy skies and bright sunlight make a strong contrast.


I had to pick my wife up at Newark airport tonight. First I had a meeting that was over by 7 p.m., so I had about an hour to kill. I was too far to go home so I headed over to a county park for a walk and see what pictures I might make.

Natirar isn’t your average public park, it is 400 acres that was formerly owned by the king of Morocco. The main building on the property is a brick forty-room Tudor-style mansion that was built by Walter Graeme Ladd and his wife, Catherine (“Kate”) Everit Macy Ladd (think big department store) in 1912. Another building on the property had been leased by Richard Branson (think airlines, records, adventures) and is now a high-end restaurant.

The rest of the estate has hiking paths through rolling hills, open fields and along the Raritan River.

I started hiking up a trail to a field where I hadn’t been before. I was feeling lazy and even though I had my photography gear in the Jeep, I took only my iPhone. I’m not big on iPhone photography but I am a huge believer the best camera there is is the one I have with me.

The evening was one of those where sunshine and storm clouds battled for supremacy of the sky. Those are the lighting conditions I love, sunshine hitting my subject with dark skies in the background. The light creates drama, contrast and color saturation that can’t be beat. I’d much rather be outside shooting on a stormy day than a blue sky without a cloud. The light is just better and possibility of dramatic sunsets. Wide open clear skies can be downright boring if you are including the sky in the photo.

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